Potential Legal Liability for Withdrawing or Withholding Ventilators During COVID-19

Self-portrait on a hospital shift in April 2020

From JAMA Network:

Recently developed protocols expressly call for the rationing and reallocation of ventilators, in a manner that aims to save the greatest number of lives. These protocols are broadly accepted by medical ethicists. But ethics aside, there are potential legal ramifications of either withholding or withdrawing a ventilator from a patient who would ordinarily receive such aid in the absence of a public health emergency.

In this Viewpoint, we assess the legal risks that physicians, other health care workers, and hospital systems confront in such scenarios and recommend that states explicitly and immediately adopt legal protections for health care workers, modeled on provisions in place in Maryland.

Source: Potential Legal Liability for Withdrawing or Withholding Ventilators During COVID-19: Assessing the Risks and Identifying Needed Reforms | Critical Care Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network

Physicians worry about our patients, but we also have to worry about gettin sued.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

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